Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 10:24am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Just for curiosity and the sake of argument to establish some ground rules, consider the following film...

Rene Clair's "The Crazy Ray" [Paris Qui Dort] [aka "3:25"]

http://www.archive.org/details/TheCrazyRay

The film has a 1925 date, is tinted [by whom?], and has a music bed [which sounds modern]. What gave this film public domain status?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 10:29am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Hard to say. Some films were originally tinted. There are many copyrighted films here. Too many.

This post was modified by billbarstad on 2011-11-11 18:29:19

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 10:45am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

It is becoming evident, except in clear cases [as in the past when "Giant" and "Rebel Without a Cause" were uploaded] that there are no definitive guidelines regarding the films I mentioned. A court filing for copyright status is hard evidence, but colorizing, film stock restoration, music bed, and tinting are extremely nebulous and most likely very difficult to authorize. Such a scenario deprives individuals of watching and understanding certain films of their historical and cinematic relevance.

The powers at the Internet Archive really need to establish some reliable and functioning tools, besides court filings on ownership, otherwise one winds up in a twilight of uncertainty and bereft of cinematic history.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 12:18pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

billbarstad:

Though dated and directed towards illustrators, you may find this of interest...

"Mothra vs Rodan: The New Copyright Wars"

by

Brad Holland

April 2002

Illustrators’ Partnership of America

"A new copyright battle is looming in the courtrooms of America, and if you thought you were already confused about how to protect your copyrights, welcome to the Fun House.

We’ve all seen the opening skirmishes of this contest in the highly publicized Napster lawsuits. Yet, I didn’t appreciate how much this fight would affect artists until this past February when, as members of the IPA, Cynthia Turner and I represented the interests of "creators" at the American Assembly forum at Arden House in Harriman, New York.

As panelists for artists’ rights, we made the case that many copyright problems facing freelancers are in fact antitrust problems. Yet, the chief topic for the other panelists was a debate brewing in various quarters over the length of copyright. This is a reaction to the rolling term extensions that have been granted copyright holders over the last two decades. These extensions—indeed, the structure of copyright itself—are now being opposed by other interests who wish to Napsterize or even abolish copyright altogether. These issues are complicated, but they can be sketched here simply.

Currently, copyright protects our work for our lifetime plus 70 years. Twenty years of that term were added within the last decade by passage of the "Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act." Some say this legislation was a favor done for the Disney Corporation who feared losing their early copyrights on Mickey Mouse material. Others point out that the Bono Act merely brings the United States into compliance with international copyright law, a necessary step if we wish to maintain reciprocal overseas trade agreements.

Yet, the internet has spawned opponents to these long-standing protections. Upstart commercial interests, backed by certain academics, contend that "the black hole of copyright" inhibits free speech and overreaches the intent of the Constitution’s framers. They point out that copyright was originally intended to protect only authors of "maps, charts and books," and they seek to overhaul the entire copyright system. One legal scholar, Lawrence Lessig, who spoke at Arden House, has even proposed reducing copyright to a period of five years, with 15 increasingly expensive renewal options. And the Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear Eldred v. Ashcroft, a case which seeks to roll back the Bono Act. Lessig himself will argue the plaintiff’s case. Whether these opponents of copyright win or lose this case, they are apparently well-funded and we must assume that they will persist in their efforts to some affect.

In the face of this challenge, it’s not surprising that publishers are fighting back. And as our clients, they hope to enlist our support, arguing that we share a "mutual interest" in protecting our work. It seems they are passionate about protecting our copyrights, once they’ve gotten them away from us. Unfortunately, they’ve been less scrupulous about the means by which they get those rights from us in the first place. Remember all-rights contracts? "Sign this agreement or you can’t work for us again?"

So should we support them?

Well, let's say someone burglarizes your house. On his way to the getaway car, somebody robs him. Now, let's say the burglar sues the robber for the return of the goods and calls you into court to identify the stuff. Do you go? It's your call, but I'd prefer to remember where our issues lie.

Unlike mortals, corporate media giants can "live" as long as they remain solvent and have assets to manage. The longer they can extend the copyrights they hold, the longer they can guarantee the company will thrive. Companies like Disney know they can exploit stories from the public domain indefinitely, as long as they can hire wage slaves (including artists) under work-for-hire contracts to convert those free properties to long-term Disney copyrights.

Meanwhile, companies like Getty and Napster hope to become overnight media giants by selling access to music and imagery they could never afford to develop or buy the rights to. They hope to do this by exploiting a loophole in existing copyright law.

This loophole exists because the legislators writing the 1976 Copyright Act didn't foresee the internet. That means they didn't enact provisions to cover it. Therefore, some now argue that copyright shouldn't apply to the web at all. And since experts predict most work will ultimately be licensed through the internet, this loophole, if widened, would allow entrepreneurs to bootleg copyrighted material for their own profit. That's why we're seeing the cynical legal briefs by corporations suddenly concerned about Freedom of Speech and the Original Intent of the Framers.

Picking sides in a contest of this sort would be like choosing sides in a battle between Mothra and Rodan over which one of them gets to eat you. We ought to have the good sense to keep our eyes on the ball. I'm all for copyright protection that lasts as long as possible. But I'm less concerned about keeping the rights to my work 50, 70 or a hundred years after I'm dead than in keeping the rights while I'm alive.

At Arden House, several people privately warned that if left to manage our own copyrights, artists would fail to register and protect them in the same ironclad way publishers now do. A crazy quilt of rights, they say, protected willy nilly by artists scattered across the country, would bewilder and exasperate clients. It would drive them into the arms of Getty and Napster. They have a good point.

For decades, we've thrived in our cottage industry, despite inherent disorganization, geographical isolation and slip-shod record keeping. But the rise of "content aggregators" (rhymes with alligators) now gives clients a fast, cheap way of acquiring the rights to work. For illustrators, stock houses are the most familiar example of this development. Stock houses may not have original work and it may not be good. But it's fast, cheap and efficient. And clients have demonstrated a willingness to use it in numbers great enough to have affected thousands of careers.

That's why it's important to remember this is not a debate about selling stock. Whether you do or don't license secondary rights is a marginal issue. What's at stake is the protection and management of your rights. At the IPA, we believe a licensing agency will give artists a means of protecting and managing their rights collectively, while giving clients an efficient means of finding and clearing those rights. This goal is consistent with the demands of competition in today's changing market."






The bottom line is one of confusion for the uploader here [Internet Archives] on questionable films that may have been altered establishing a single uniqueness and new ownership. [Think back to some Wade Williams issues.] Where does one draw the line and by what authority or legal statement?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 1:14pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

The adding of a minimum of "creative" material to otherwise public domain content is a disingenuous, but legal way to obtain copyright, and something should be done to end what is a sleazy method of increasing a company's IP portfolio. Wade Williams and Alpha Video among others are guilty of it.

On Eldred v. Ashcroft, I hope the court eliminates the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. Copyright lengths were more than fair before it. Copyright desperately needs an overhaul.

The argument by corporations that artists are too ignorant of copyright or otherwise incapable, "bewildered or exasperated" and they should hand their copyrights over for protection doesn't bear consideration.

I also think copying isn't stealing, but I'll stay within the law, and uphold it when dealing with IA. I hope the internet stays free.

Thanks for the interesting, if biased while seeming to be fair, read.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 1:19pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

I think you and I will be dust in the wind before all of this is settled.

As for Wade Williams...well, I know Wade and have confronted him on two occasions. Not a pleasant experience. I do know he has laid claim to some films and I think it is mostly through Corinth Film Company whereby they lay copyright claim to many films. I believe that this is done through their "closed caption" service which is a good idea but still leaves questionable the original film copyrights.

The whole point of this dialog is to call into question the parameters for judging a film's copyright status other than some judicial ruling when it comes to many of the silent films that may have been augmented by color addition [total or tint], music beds, and physical repairs and enhancements.

Frankly, many of the silent films in my list could be uploaded with or without the music bed...but, I'll leave that up to Phil.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 1:38pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Considering that all of the films I checked had their copyrights renewed, except possibly the last one, it wouldn't be a good idea to upload them when there is almost no chance that they don't contain a valid notice. The criteria I've been using are based on law.

As I have said, added tinting and music can be removed. Repairing and cleaning of film don't qualify as creative restoration, and don't result in a copyrightable film. Restoration of film is an expensive, time-consuming process.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 2:07pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

In this dialog I may have missed it, but could to list the copyright documentation for the films? I only remember one..."She".

"Repairing and cleaning of film don't qualify as creative restoration, and don't result in a copyrightable film."

Well, some may disagree with that for it does require tremendous technical skill and knowledge in specific restoration processes: Sprocket re-perforation, "timing" [scene balance density], wet gate manipulation--all to result in a well-balanced product.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 2:36pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

The two films mentioned here may be PD, as noted. The first four films in the PDF attached here had their copyrights renewed. The fifth may be PD if it's not the wide-screen, color movie. The copyright I saw for the original film didn't look valid, but I may be wrong.

About restoration, check this post for some good information.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 2:45pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Then I suppose that Rene Clair's "The Crazy Ray" [ http://www.archive.org/details/TheCrazyRay ] should be removed. I do not recall the original being tinted and the music bed is certainly not original. So, the individual[s] responsible could lay copyright claim and the film's removed.

I'm getting a headache over this. :)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 2:51pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Your right about the movie. Copyright has made it feel like screaming and shouting and pulling my hair out.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 4:45pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

I think the following illustrates the interest people have in these vintage films and could probably care less about copyright/public domain. Sometimes common sense philosophy should prevail. After all, what is the base line for the copyright of film: To ensure intellectual/creativity or to line pockets with cash? Would the downloaders spend money per view or a subscription fee to watch the films? Maybe the Internet has lost the original vision of the exchange of knowledge and become an arena of commerce.

"Cabiria"...Downloaded 241 times

"The Conquering Power"...Downloaded 306 times

"Tol'able David"...Downloaded 298 times

As a footnote...I would be disappointed to see "The Crazy Ray" eliminated from the Archive's repertoire...I use it as a teaching reference.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 5:03pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Common sense doesn't have much to do with whether a film should or shouldn't be under copyright. All we have is the law. I love silent movies. I know many other regular visitors to IA do to. I've uploaded 12 silent features and 43 silent shorts. All are PD. I've had to file counterclaims to reverse false takedown demands by StudioCanal on 4 or 5 of the features. That's one reason to know some copyright law.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Hg80 Date: Nov 11, 2011 5:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Common sense in that copyrights should not extend beyond the creator's life span to infinity. The function of a copyright extends to the propriety of prime source ownership [those intellectual/creative rights] and revenue generated during that individual's life time. I doubt that Rene Clair's heirs have received a franc from "The Crazy Ray" lately. If one had the time and authority, I bet half of the feature films at the Internet Archive would have to be removed for some violation of a copyright restriction...however minor. Face it, it's not "really" about intellectual property rights; it's about money.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Nov 11, 2011 5:38pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Yep.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Phil_ Date: Nov 11, 2011 8:24pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Ten selections

Thought for Today:

Copyright laws do not seem to reward the people who deserve a reward, but maintain an inhibitory environment for those who could benefit most from a truly free society. That being said, I know a few artists (including some actors in film and television) who are unwittingly 'victims' of copyright infringement. For example, I know that as I watch one of my (actor) friend's shows (currently in syndication on cable television), she has no idea that there are a hundred p2p-heads (for lack of an appropriate word) online circulating a rip of her studio's DVD compilation, on Usenet or some unnamed p2p network.

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)